Arizona authorities worried about supercharged marijuana vaping oil

Feb 14, 2020, 9:06 AM | Updated: 9:07 am

vaping pen e-cigarette...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – Authorities are worrying about a supercharged form of marijuana they say is a growing threat to Arizona’s young people.

The drug known as crude oil is a highly concentrated with THC, the chemical in marijuana that produces the high, and has meth-like effects when ingested through vaping devices.

“It is so strong that law enforcement actually considers it narcotic … not marijuana, but it’s being marketed to kids and it’s being tied up in the whole campaign of the legalization of marijuana with all these great medicinal properties,” Cindy Scott of Northern Arizona University’s justice studies program told KTAR News 92.3 FM this week.

“Families don’t realize that what these kids are using, what they think is marijuana, is not.”

Scott said signs of use included weight loss, agitation and anger, symptoms associated with meth use.

Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Col. Frank Milstead told KTAR News’ Arizona Morning News the THC concentration in crude oil is as high as 97%. By contrast, the THC level in leafy marijuana for smoking can be up to 20% today, he said, and it was around 4% in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

“It changes the addiction factor. It changes the health factor,” Milstead said. “And all they want to do is get you or your kids addicted to this so you keep buying it.”

Milstead said about 250 pounds of leafy marijuana are used to make a 5-gallon bucket of the crude oil form sold for vaping.

He said the oil form is difficult for law enforcement to detect. Scott said it has no odor when vaped.

“It looks like motor oil,” Milstead said. “It’s easier to move across the border. You don’t have to backpack it. They can put it cars and hide it in barrels and jugs.”

To combat the issue, criminal justice professionals are holding a public conference Saturday at NAU’s north Phoenix campus (15451 N. 28th Ave.) from 10 a.m. to noon.

“We’re bringing together a group of experts to talk about the dangerous trend of vaping marijuana that’s literally destroying and targeting our middle school, high school and college age kids,” Scott said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Split panel image of the front of an Albertsons grocery store on the left and a Kroger plastic bag ...

Kevin Stone

Arizona joins federal lawsuit to block merger of grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons

Arizona is part of a federal lawsuit filed Monday to block the controversial merger of Kroger and Albertsons, two of the nation’s largest grocers.

59 minutes ago

The eastbound Loop 202 South Mountain freeway was closed in Phoenix on Feb. 26, 2024, for a fatal c...

Eastbound Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway closed in Phoenix for fatal wrong-way crash

The eastbound Loop 202 South Mountain freeway was closed in Phoenix on Monday for a fatal wrong-way crash, authorities said.

2 hours ago

Mugshot of Jill Houchens, who was arrested Feb. 19, 2024, on 146 counts of animal abuse and neglect...

Arizona woman arrested on nearly 150 animal abuse and neglect charges

An Arizona woman faces nearly 150 charges after more than 20 animals, including five that were dead, were removed from her property earlier this month, authorities said.

3 hours ago

Sun at high noon over a prison....

SuElen Rivera

Man sentenced to over 5 years for coordinating drug smuggling into Arizona

A man was sentenced last week to over five years in prison for his role in coordinating drug smuggling into Arizona, authorities said.

4 hours ago

Blurry photo of an ambulance with lights on at night...

1 teenager killed, another seriously injured in rollover collision in Phoenix

One teenager was killed and another was seriously injured in a rollover collision in northwest Phoenix early Sunday, authorities said.

6 hours ago

Mesa man smiles for picture!...

Silver Alert issued for Mesa man with cognitive disability

A silver alert was issued Sunday night for a Mesa man with a cognitive disability last seen in Mesa, authorities said.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Arizona authorities worried about supercharged marijuana vaping oil